Why Some Artists Will Almost Certainly Prosper in the New Economy

There is revolution in the air. Unless you have spent the last four or so years on Mars you can’t have missed the restless loss of direction of the western world as it has struggled to make sense of the momentous economic catastrophes unraveling all around. Security, certainty and jobs have been sucked into a wild vortex of global meltdown.

But, it is in shifting times like these that revolutions happen… Rules can be rewritten, systems can be changed. Paradigms shift… Revolutions can create positive new opportunities…

The times they are a changing…

Seth Godin, in a recent post, talked about the fact that the jobs, as we know them, aren’t coming back…

“Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.” – Seth Godin


It’s not about waiting for the old jobs to come back. That isn’t going to happen. It is about taking things into your own hands and creating the work that you want to do… and as artists and artisans, we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this change…

The artists who will thrive and prosper will do these things…

  • They will seek out successful mentors, experts and teachers who will educate them in specific business skills such as marketing and selling
  • They will surround themselves with a community of like-minded others who will inspire them and keep them highly motivated
  • They will continue to read, study and learn all that they can about the business of art
  • They will continue to hone their presentation and closing skills
  • They will create a marketing plan with a time deadline and begin executing it
  • They will pick up the phone and make the necessary phone calls to gallery owners and directors

But revolutions are not always bloodless…

Anyone who has ever laid in bed at night wondering how they were going to feed the kids or pay the mortgage or stop the car from being repossessed knows that a revolution is a terrifying time… I have been there. Opportunities for change are balanced by loss. Dreams of a new start are often founded from the stomach churning nightmare of disaster. How can we move forward without being paralyzed by fear of what the future holds?

The revolution of the mind starts here…

“When everyone has a laptop and connection to the world, then everyone owns a factory. Instead of coming together physically, we have the ability to come together virtually, to earn attention, to connect labor and resources, to deliver value.” – Seth Godin

Artists and creative people have always had the kind of skills needed to survive in the art world. Self motivation, Pro activity, focus, passion and a burning desire to create something wonderful. These skills now stand you in good stead.

The difference between the past and now is that you don’t need anyone else to sell or promote or make things for you. The tools available today offer the ability to connect and reach all over the world. We are in unprecedented times.

Don’t sit and wait for someone else to create a job for you. Create your OWN.

You CAN break out of the system.

Think laterally.

So how can we push forward? The failing economy has meant that it has become harder for artists to sell some kinds of work. Buyers cut back on non-essential purchases, meaning that they might not buy a painting they wouldn’t have thought twice about purchasing three years ago. Art sales are lower in some areas and it may seem like an uphill battle to find a place in the new economy. What can you do?

The answer is to think laterally and find a place where your creative skills and a NEED come together. Look around. What do people or businesses really need {not just want} and how can you help them with that?

When you find the intersection between what you love creating, and a need, then you will have found the sweet spot that will  create opportunity for you. Creating, solving people’s problems and getting paid for it. Perfect.

Focus on flexibility and improving your business skills. Understand how things work in business so that you can ride the wave rather than getting swept along by it. Start to create multiple income streams from your skills all of which can contribute to your household income and offer protection against market fluctuations.  Maybe, in time you will be able to create opportunities for others who are less well equipped for the journey…

Brave New World.

The world is changing and this can be disconcerting and frightening. Every revolution shakes up the system and often what comes after is much better. The jobs aren’t coming back anytime soon and the shape of the new recovery will not be the same as the old way. It’s not an easy road by any means, but surely it’s time to reform the economic landscape to be more humane. To work in ways that are FOR people, rather than AGAINST them. You have the creative skills and mindset to be at the forefront of this revolutionary new landscape.

Time to be brave and grasp the opportunity of a new paradigm.

Please let us know how you are managing to take the bull by the horns and create your own way in this brave new world.

___________________________________________________________________________

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About Gary Bolyer Fine Art

I am a New York City-based landscape artist.
This entry was posted in Art Business Success and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Why Some Artists Will Almost Certainly Prosper in the New Economy

  1. Great! It is all in my hands, and people need the joy of beauty in their lives more than ever!

  2. Thanks Gary, good words here to hopefully inspire others to take charge of their own future. Being our own best advocate and seeking out the opportunities is the key element in getting started. Finding ways, as you said, to put something out there that “can” be bought or paid for. Keep in business in any way possible. Wish I could have shared this on my Facebook page, but the “like” button was the only thing I saw for Facebook. I’ll go there and see if I can “share” it to my friends.

  3. Sorry, but now I see by using the “like” it does show up on my facebook page!

  4. I dare my self with your words of wisdom.

  5. “The answer is to think laterally and find a place where your creative skills and a NEED come together. Look around.”

    Very inspiring article and I am finding this to be true. Artists are creative and we evolve. We must become the change we wish to see, and this is done through thinking of new ideas and ways to implement the arts in the world.

    • Hi Jaison,
      Thanks so much for your comments. What you say is true about artists evolving and becoming the change we wish to see. Great point. As artists and creators, we hold the key to our own creative futures. Thanks again.

  6. Hi, I’ve found this article very interesting, it gives me the feeling that the work line I’m following is good, thank you, Christian Zanotto

  7. PK says:

    Thanks Gary, that was a very inspirational post that I needed to hear today.

    “But revolutions are not always bloodless…” Indeed!! This is a bloody one without a doubt. But you are correct, the shifting paradigm benefits those with the ability to hustle and artists are born hustlers. Thanks again!

  8. Pingback: Why Some Photographers will Prosper in the New Economy | Christopher Barr

  9. Pingback: The Successful Artist | Andaaz

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